George Herbert, The Journalist
Richard Burton was an international star of the stage, motion pictures and the spoken word. As a player upon the major stages of Great Britain, Canada and the United States, his voice and visage was universally known.
He was one of the rare actors whose professional accomplishments met the challenge of classic stage literature including roles, which grow and mature throughout an actor’s lifetime.
The consummate actor began life as the son of a coal miner in Pontrhydyfen (pronounced Pontradeven), South Wales.
Over the years, Mr Burton gathered seven Academy Award nominations for Best Actor in such diverse motion pictures as “Becket”, “The Spy Who Came In From The Cold”, “Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf”, “Anne Of A Thousand Days” and “Equus”.
The 47 motion pictures that he made include “Alexander The Great”, “Circle Of Two, “The Night Of The Iguana”, “The Taming Of The Shrew”, “Where Eagles Dare”, “Under Milk Wood”, “Tristan And Iseult”, “The Wild Geese”, and his last, “1984”. His most popular recordings were Shakespeare’s “Coriolanus”, “The Love Poems Of John Donne”, “The Poetry Of Thomas Hardy”, “The Little Prince”, “A Personal Anthology”, Shakespeare’s “The Rape Of Lucrece”, all of Dylan Thomas’s works, and “Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of The Worlds”.
A Commander of the British Empire, he was also a Don and Fellow of St Peter’s College, Oxford University. Richard Burton was married to former Freelance Production Assistant, Sally Anne Hay when he passed away on 5th August 1984 at his home in Celigny, Switzerland.
The Sung Thoughts Of The Journalist
No one who has ever seen or heard Justin Hayward singing in front of those vast audiences who attend The Moody Blues concerts will have forgotten the plaintive, soaring quality of his voice or the crystal clear guitar solos.
Justin is the vocalist, lead guitarist and composer for The Moody Blues in an era that has spanned thirty-eight years and sales of fifty five million albums.
He wrote their two-million seller, “Nights In White Satin”, and earned the group an unprecedented succession of platinum, gold and silver records, as well as numerous awards for compositions such as “Question”, “Tuesday Afternoon”, “The Voice”, “Blue Guitar”, “Your Wildest Dreams” and “I Know You're Out There Somewhere”.
In 1974 Justin received the first of a number of ASCAP awards for his work as a songwriter, and it is these awards that he treasures most, for they represent recognition from his peers. He was recently awarded the Gold Badge Award from The British Academy Of Songwriters.
With his beautiful melodies, unique guitar phrases and a kaleidoscope of musical styles and textures, Justin Hayward maintains a flourishing solo career with albums such as “Songwriter”, “Blue Jays”, “Nightflight” produced by Jeff Wayne, “Classic Blue”, “Moving Mountains”, “The View From The Hill”, and a CD & DVD of “Live at San Juan Capistrano” which includes a solo performance of “Forever Autumn”. Also, he has recently released “An Audience with Justin Hayward at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame” DVD.
Both with The Moody Blues and in his own solo career, Justin has built a reputation as one of the finest vocalists and composers in the music world today.
Rhydian Roberts first burst into our homes in a glittery blaze of glory as the showboating tabloid villain of X Factor in 2007. All white hair and white fur coats, sparkly seersucker and sailor suits... and a rich baritone voice that could sing everything from pop to show tunes to opera. He went on to become the people's favourite and sell over 600,000 copies of his debut album, Rhydian, released late last year.
At the time he had recently graduated from Birmingham City University's Conservatoire and had just won a place to study musical theatre at the Royal Academy of Music. So was he gambling away his classical credibility when he decided to audition for X Factor in the face of suspicion and scorn from his more snooty music school contemporaries? "I never saw myself onstage at La Scala - my dream is to appear on Broadway one day in a role created for me. And I hope that one day that will come true."
Rhydian’s second album O Fortuna is a collection of much-loved songs that pay homage to his Welsh heritage, with Rhydian joined by Damie Kiri Te Kanawa and some of his country's biggest names - Britain's most successful living composer Karl Jenkins, opera superstar Bryn Terfel and harp virtuoso Catrin Finch - and backed by a male voice choir. Such illustrious company demonstrates just how far Rhydian has come since we first encountered him on television during the 2007 series of X Factor.
Yet for all his diverse influences, his choice of material and the arrangements he has chosen show that Rhydian is very much his own man. "I could spend my career trying to reinvent myself but ultimately this is the real me as a singer," he declares. "This is very much where I envisaged being when I was at music school. I'm made up. It's brilliant. And long may it continue."
Rhydian remarks on his debut in The War of The Worlds: "My dream has always been to appear in a musical which tours large arenas and I'm very excited to be joining such an incredible cast for The War of The Worlds 2010 Tour. I am a big fan of Jeff Wayne and I grew up listening to the classic album, so it's very special to be performing one of the main roles of Parson Nathaniel - even more so given that I will share the stage with an 11-foot floating 3D Hologram of my fellow countryman, Richard Burton, 26 years after his death!"
Beth, Parson Nathaniel's Wife
As one third of Britain’s biggest girl band Atomic Kitten, Liz has travelled the world on sell out tours, performed for the Queen at Buckingham Palace, sold 10 million records globally as well as bringing pop music back to the masses in 2001 when the band released “Whole Again” which spent 4 weeks at number 1 in the UK chart, 6 weeks at number 1 in Germany, and was number 1 in 17 other Countries. “Whole Again” has also just be named in the Top 10 selling singles of the decade, and Atomic Kitten are the only girl band to feature in the Top 10, and one of only 3 acts not to have been born from a Reality TV Show.
Liz’s debut single as a solo artist entered the charts as highest new entry at number 5. The single, a cover of the Barbra Streisand classic “Woman in Love” was produced by Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees.
In July 2008 Liz took part in the new BBC 1 prime time, series of Celebrity Masterchef, which she won. Since her win, she has had her own 4-week cookery slot on LK Today as well as becoming a regular on the cooking show Market Kitchen. In January 2009 Liz become the first celebrity to ever have their own pasta dish on the menu at Pizza Hut, with a percentage of proceeds being donated to the United Nations’ World Food Programme. This is one of several charities Liz supports, as she took part in the World Vision 24 Hour Famine in February 2009, and also has her own designed Race For Life T-shirt, which raised over £500,000 for the charity.
At the end of October 2008, Liz debuted as a new presenter of the National Lottery. Prior to this Liz presented from the red carpet of the MTV Europe awards. She has also tried her hand at acting, appearing in an episode of Home and Away, and making her big screen debut alongside fellow scouse Ricky Tomlinson in the football film, Mike Bassett England Manager.
Liz is currently in the studio writing and recording with Grammy Award winners Philip Larsen and Rob Davies, as well as the renowned Tinderbox who have written and recorded for the likes of Leona Lewis and Rihanna. Liz signed her new record deal in August 2009 with 3Beat Records and plans to release her new single in March 2010 followed by an album in May.
Liz’s new TV makeover show “Hotter Than My Daughter” is launching in February 2010 on BBC 3 when she will attempt to put an end to female rivalry. Her cookery book, "Can't Cook, Cook Book" is due for release around Easter time. Liz will also take on 2 tours, the first alongside Ronan Keating, as she joins him as a special guest on his UK and Ireland tour, then in November Liz takes to the stage as the lead female role of Beth, The Parson’s wife in Jeff Wayne’s The War of The Worlds - Alive on Stage! arena production, staring alongside Jason Donovan.
The Voice of Humanity
In 1975 Chris joined Manfred Mann’s Earthband and was with them until 1986, rejoining 1991-1999. During that time he enjoyed a number of hit singles, including Blinded by the Light and Davy’s on the Road Again, the former being a number one around the world; and albums The Roaring Silence (1976), Watch (1978), Angel Station (1979), Chance (1980), Somewhere in Africa (1982), Live In Budapest (1983) and Criminal Tango (1986). Soft Vengeance (1996) and Mann Alive (1998).
In 1979 Chris formed his own band Night, which released two albums, Night (1979) and Long Distance (1981) and produced two top twenty hits Hot Summer Night and If you Remember Me. These albums have been re-released worldwide on one CD by Renaissance Records.
In 1989 Chris wrote and performed the official championship song of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, The Challenge, which reached number one in Germany. In 1994 he sang the theme from the successful German TV series Florida Lady. This series also gave birth to a brand new recording of Blinded by the Light. Chris toured extensively with MMEB 1975 to 1999 and Night 1979 to 1983. After 1986 Chris recorded and toured under his own name and with Alan Parsons. Chris also worked with Queen and other Artists on The Freddie Mercury tribute concert, April 1992 and the 46664 Nelson Mandela Aids benefit concert in Capetown, November 2003.
Over the years Chris has contributed songs and or vocals to such artists as Tina Turner, Elton John, Queen, Annie Lennox, Roger Daltrey, Brian May, Ozzy Osbourne, Britney Spears, Alan
Parsons, Ray Charles, Def Leppard, Toto, Michael McDonald, The Doobie Brothers, John Farnham (co-writing the worldwide number one song You’re the Voice) and many more.
For the last four years Chris has been working on a Multi Media / Musical project entitled Rediscovery (the story, written by Chris, is set in New Zealand), due to be released in 2010. This work has inspired an educational project – a Multi Media program, at the cutting edge of the new high school curriculum in Norway and Belgium. Chris recently recorded a duet with
Sarah Brightman for her upcoming Best Of project for America and Japan. Chris continues to perform extensively in Europe and America. Current information is available on his website.
Originally from Australia, singer, actor Jason Donovan’s UK breakthrough was for his role as Scott Robinson in the much-loved soap-opera “Neighbours” where he played opposite another Australian rising star Kylie Minogue. The part made Jason an international celebrity and won him the prestigious Logie award recognising him as the most popular Australian talent in 1987.
Capitalising on the success of their on-screen partnership Jason and Kylie recorded romantic duet, “Especially For You” resulting in the smash UK Number 1 hit.
Jason’s solo hit singles and albums over the years have included: “Too Many Broken Hearts” (UK No 1), “Everyday”, “Sealed With A Kiss” and “When You Come Back To Me” as well as the Number 1 Best Selling UK Album of 1989 “Ten Good Reasons”. In 1990 a second album “Between The Lines” and singles “Hang On To Your Love”, “Another Night”, “Rhythm Of The Rain” and “I’m Doing Fine”, kept Jason in the UK and international charts.
In between record releases Jason has starred in films and tv shows including: “Blood Oath” (1989), “Heroes and Shadows Of The Heart” (1989), “Tempe Tip” (2002), ABC series “MDA” (2002), ITV’s series “I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here” (2006) and “Echo Beach” (2008).
Jason has also scored personal triumphs on the West End stage in “Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” and is currently starring in “Priscilla, Queen of The Desert” at London's Palace Theatre.
He will be seen performing a song from Priscilla, on 2009’s Children In Need for BBC TV, and will be releasing a new album in 2010.
Carrie, The Journalist's Fiancée
Anna-Marie started acting in her young teens, guest starring in the hit TV comedies “The Upper Hand”, alongside Honor Blackman, and “Mr Bean”, with Rowan Atkinson. She went on to train for 3 years at the one of the UK's leading drama schools, Guildford School of Acting and, upon graduation, created the lead role of Elisa in “Solitary Confinement” at London's West End theatre, ICA The Mall, alongside Adam Garcia.
She has worked (with drama and comedy performances) in practically every medium since - TV, Film, Stage, Radio and Commercials.
Having recently relocated back to England from LA, her recent film work includes a lead role in “Disappearing In America” starring Mark Pellegrino, a lead role in the horror / thriller feature film “Spike”, as well as a lead role in the dark thriller “Number One Longing, Number Two Regret”, alongside Jenny Agutter.
Her UK stage work has included playing the lead role of Laly in “Best Friends” (New End Theatre as well as Edinburgh Festival where it was a fringe first nominee), Roberta in “The Railway Children” (King’s Head Theatre), and lead roles in “Slow Train To Izmir” (Southwark Playhouse), “The Rival Queens” (Union Theatre), “The Little Tragedies” (Total Studios), “The Passing Out Parade” (Etcetera Theatre) and “The Crucible” (Electric Theatre).
Anna-Marie has also performed in many short films including “Undone” which she also wrote and produced, “The Antagonist” for producer Share Stallings and "Who Flew Over What?" for Tonic Films (the producers of CABIN FEVER).
Anna-Marie is thrilled to be part of the cast of her father Jeff’s Musical Version of The War of The Worlds - Alive on Stage! playing The Journalist’s fiancée, Carrie, a filmed role which was relayed on screens opposite a virtual performance by Richard Burton. The production, which has now played to sell-out audiences across the UK, Australia and New Zealand features 3 generations of the Wayne family – Anna-Marie, Jeff, and Jeff’s father, actor/singer Jerry Wayne, who performed all the voices on the NASA Epilogue on the original double album.